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Tuesday, 22 September 1942

Mr HOLT (FAWKNER, VICTORIA) - I ask the Prime Minister whether, in the event of the Australian Broadcasting Commission considering that arrangements for the broadcast of a public talk should be cancelled, on the ground that it presented only one side of a question, it would not be practicable for that instrumentality to allow the broadcast to be made, and to arrange for the broadcast of the opposite view on a future occasion, in order that both sides might be brought to public notice?

Mr CURTIN - The suggestion appears fair and reasonable. I do not, however, consider that the broadcasting service entrusted to the Australian Broadcasting Commission ought to be used in order to excite or continue a public controversy. The commission is a Commonwealth instrumentality. Those who have views to express should bo given what is regarded as a fair opportunity to state them temperately and fairly. I could understand the commission adopting the stand that, a case having been put once, before it was put again by the same interests an opportunity should be afforded to any one competent to speak for opposing interests, should they exist, to use this Commonwealth instrumentality for that purpose.

Mr Menzies - Does that mean that the opposing view would have to be put from Wesley Church?


Mr Menzies - That is the whole point of this matter. Wesley Church broadcasts every Sunday afternoon.

Mr CURTIN - Has the service at Wesley Church been broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission every Sunday afternoon?

Mr Menzies - Yes.

Mr CURTIN - Then that church has had a monopoly of Sunday afternoon broadcasts by the Australian Broadcasting Commission?

Sir Frederick Stewart - No; the Australian Broadcasting Commission has had a monopoly of the Wesley Church afternoon service.

Mr CURTIN - They have had a monopoly between them. That is very interesting.

Sir Frederick Stewart - Apparently, it has proved mutually satisfactory.

Mr CURTIN - I do not care how mutually satisfactory it may be. It is rather strange to me that a particular service at a particular hour on each Sunday in the year should have the right of transmission by the national broadcasting service. I do not know what view the Broadcasting Committee may bold of such an arrangement.

Mr Menzies - It has been the practice for a long time.

Mr CURTIN - Even so, it is news to me. I never imagined for a moment that the Australian Broadcasting Commission, which operates the national broadcasting service, would make an arrangement of that description with any denomination.

Mr Calwell - The broadcast is not denominational..

Mr CURTIN - I shall have the matter inquired into.

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